Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Torture by Philadelphia Police

More evidence that law enforcement can't be trusted with Tasers. In this incident, the victim was a 17-year-old idiot who decided to run out on the field during a Philadelphia Phillies game. These guys are annoying, but the present absolutely no threat to anybody; the crime, if there is one, is undoubtedly a misdemeanor and probably never results in jail time.

So what's the justification for the use of deadly force? According to the chief of police, "He was attempting to make an arrest and the male was attempting to flee."

In case the chief didn't notice something, I'll point it out to him: He was attempting to flee in an enclosed space. He had nowhere to go, he was surrounded, and he was within a few feet of the cop and several security people at the time they hit him with the Taser.

There was also an interesting comment from Tony LaRussa, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals:

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa agreed the use of a Taser was appropriate.

"If somebody comes up there and does some damage, they're going to be second-guessing not doing anything," La Russa said. "I just think it's acceptable, because it's a good deterrent."

This shows an appalling lack of understanding from someone who is well known to be not only a baseball manager but also a lawyer, or at least a law school graduate. Maybe what they teach at Florida State is different, but where I went to law school the theory of deterrence applied to punishment administered by a court after the defendant is charged and convicted. The police don't get to decide that they're going to torture criminal suspects and chalk it up to deterrence.

Once again, the answer is clear: Take the toys away from the boys.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% corect.

AND.....Philly police can't be trusted with this silly toy, but somewhere somehow the Arizona legislature and their governor think it's OK to suspend the constitution at a street cop's whim. Can't wait to see how THAT little experiment works out.


May 05, 2010 8:37 PM  

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